You know, in Nigeria, there is a saying that “Thunder fire you” however, physics says that lightning is what strikes while thunder is just the clap but imagine saying: “lightning fire you”..Ewwwww.LOL
However, you may be thinking: How does this affect Agriculture or your plant roots; kindly read this piece to the end.
So, the roots of the plant in the soil need Nitrogen and this Nitrogen is fixed by lightning therefore, the need for lightning.
Elementary science teaches the Nitrogen cycle and its importance for plants which is the need for Nitrogen fixation in the roots of the plant.
So, then, what is the aim of this Article? To teach the need for Nitrogen in the soil for the benefit of the plants.
What are the sources of Nitrogen and how can the plant roots benefit?
According to the Journal of Pollution Effects & Control, the natural cycle of nitrogen involves several biological and non-biological process including: mineralization, nitrification, denitrification, nitrogen fixation, microbial and plant uptake of nitrogen, ammonia volatilization, leaching of nitrite and nitrate and ammonia fixation. Nitrogen exists naturally in the environment and is constantly being converted from organic to an inorganic form and vice versa. Production of commercial fertilizer adds up to the natural source of nitrogen. The main source of nitrogen includes: atmospheric precipitation, geological sources, agricultural land, livestock and poultry operations and urban waste. Agricultural emissions show a strong increase due to the application of fertilizer to agricultural soils, grazing of animals and spreading of animal manure. Emissions from agricultural practices and animal manure wastes are the major source of nitrogen pollution in surface and underground water.
Nitrogen will return back to the soil after the death of organisms in the soil through the activities of soil microorganisms which provide the nitrogen in its ready form again to plants and then to animals and humans. Certain amounts of this fixed nitrogen are liable to be lost to the atmosphere in elemental form. However, the significant increase in human population increased the demand for food which leads to mass production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers for agricultural activities.
Human activities such as production and use of commercial fertilizer, production and use of fossil fuels in industrial processes, energy generation and transportation altered the nitrogen cycle and caused disturbance to the total environment (Air, soil and water).
In plant cultivation, if the same crops are grown in the field for many years, the soil becomes poor in nutrients like nitrogen and fertility of the soil decreases and there is a need for the soil to be fixed.
The soil can be replenished with nutrients by growing such a crop which is able to fix up the nitrogen like leguminous crop (Leguminous plants belong to the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae). The fruits of this plants are called legumes. Well-known examples of legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soy, and peanuts. Legume).
Rhizobium bacteria present in the root nodes of leguminous crops fixes atmospheric nitrogen, converts it into usable compound, hence increasing the fertility of the soil.
Here is an excerpt from an article by Vegetable Gardner “Fertilizing: It’s Mainly About Nitrogen”
do absorb oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide from the air. Fueled by
sunlight, plants use these elements to manufacture carbohydrates through the
process of photosynthesis. But that’s just a part of what they need. In order
to make vital proteins and amino acids, they require 13 other elements.
There are the primary nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. And the secondary nutrients: calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Then the micronutrients: zinc, iron, manganese, copper, boron, molybdenum, and chlorine. Each plays a vital role in plant growth, and if any one of them is deficient, the plants will suffer.
Nitrogen is the element that gets most of our attention, and rightly so.
Nitrogen is the fuel that makes plants go. It’s used to synthesize amino acids, proteins, chlorophyll, nucleic acids, and enzymes. Plants need more nitrogen than any other element. It’s the nutrient we most often have to apply.
The good news is that nitrogen is in plentiful supply in nature; it comprises 78 percent of the earth’s atmosphere. The bad news is plants cannot extract nitrogen from the air. In fact, whether in the air or in the soil, nitrogen cannot be absorbed by plants in its elemental form. For nitrogen to be absorbed by plant roots, it must be converted, or “fixed,” into nitrates (NO3) or ammonium (NH4) ions.
That transformation occurs naturally in the nitrogen cycle. Some nitrogen is fixed in lightning strikes and delivered via rainfall. But most is converted from organic matter in the soil with the aid of microorganisms, which transform the nitrogen to nitrates. This transformation can be a slow process. But the richer the soil, the higher it is in organic matter and microorganisms, and the faster the nitrogen is made available.”
How can Nitrogen deficiency be traced?
According to Plagron, A nitrogen deficiency can be recognized by yellow leaves. This is because chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. You’ll first see this happen in the older leaves at the bottom of the plant. This happens because plants transport the available nitrogen to their young leaves and growing points. Eventually the growth of plants will stop as a result, and leaves will fall off. Some plants may see the leaves turn purple instead of yellow. Among others, this happens in multiple varieties of cabbage. A plant with a nitrogen deficiency will remain smaller than a healthy plant. The same goes for its fruits. Plants with a nitrogen deficiency are also more susceptible to problems like diseases and insects.
You can read more about Nitrogen Deficiency here
Nitrogen is very important for plant growth and it should be paid attention to for effective plant growth generally.
What if Thunder fired your plant root?